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Posts Tagged ‘bureaucracy’

1. ‘Give Greece What It Deserves: Communism‘, Bill Frezza, Forbes

No real need to provide an introduction to this bitingly fun take down of modern Greece. Just read it!:

What the world needs, lest we forget, is a contemporary example of Communism in action. What better candidate than Greece? They’ve been pining for it for years, exhibiting a level of anti-capitalist vitriol unmatched in any developed country. They are temperamentally attuned to it, having driven all hard working Greeks abroad in search of opportunity. They pose no military threat to their neighbors, unless you quake at the sight of soldiers marching around in white skirts. And they have all the trappings of a modern Western nation, making them an uncompromised test bed for Marxist theories. Just toss them out of the European Union, cut off the flow of free Euros, and hand them back the printing plates for their old drachmas. Then stand back for a generation and watch.

2. Some Federal Workers More Likely to Die Than Lose Jobs, Dennis Cauchon, USA Today

A major indictment of the efficiency of our Federal government bureaucracy is found in this study done by USA Today. In the study, it was found that only .55% of federal employees were fired in the 2010 calendar year. So we tax payers are supposed to swallow that our federal bureaucracies are having a 99.45% success rate in finding effective and worthy employees? It seems that if a department wants to replace someone, they just have to wait for them to die, that’s all:

Death — rather than poor performance, misconduct or layoffs — is the primary threat to job security at the Environmental Protection Agency, the Small Business Administration, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Office of Management and Budget and a dozen other federal operations.

The federal government fired 0.55% of its workers in the budget year that ended Sept. 30 — 11,668 employees in its 2.1 million workforce. Research shows that the private sector fires about 3% of workers annually for poor performance, says John Palguta, former research chief at the federal Merit Systems Protection Board, which handles federal firing disputes.

3. ‘Home Depot Co-Founder: Obama Is Choking Recovery, John Merline, Investor’s Business Daily

An informative interview with a man who built a small business into a giant, hiring thousands of Americans along the way:

IBD: What’s the single biggest impediment to job growth today?

Marcus: The U.S. government. Having built a small business into a big one, I can tell you that today the impediments that the government imposes are impossible to deal with. Home Depot would never have succeeded if we’d tried to start it today. Every day you see rules and regulations from a group of Washington bureaucrats who know nothing about running a business. And I mean every day. It’s become stifling.

If you’re a small businessman, the only way to deal with it is to work harder, put in more hours, and let people go. When you consider that something like 70% of the American people work for small businesses, you are talking about a big economic impact.

IBD: President Obama has promised to streamline and eliminate regulations. What’s your take?

Marcus: His speeches are wonderful. His output is absolutely, incredibly bad. As he speaks about cutting out regulations, they are now producing thousands of pages of new ones. With just ObamaCare by itself, you have a 2,000 page bill that’s probably going to end up being 150,000 pages of regulations.

4. ‘Obamacare’s Raid On the Medicine Cabinet‘, John Graham, Washington Times

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius testified before the House Energy and Commerce Committee last week. The subject was the impact the new Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) will have on doctor’s reimbursement rates and whether that would lead to denied care for seniors on Medicare. She denied that there would much impact because savings would be found elsewhere in Medicare Parts C (Medicare Advantage) and D (prescription drug plans).

John Graham provides hard figures showing even if you took all the “savings” from these other programs, the Board would still be far short of reaching it’s cost-cutting mandate. All this to mean that the Board WILL have to cut physician reimbursement rates significantly because it simply has no where else to look:

Although IPAB can theoretically cut Medicare Advantage, the private program used by one-quarter of Medicare beneficiaries, Obamacare has already subjected Medicare Advantage to $145 billion in cuts this decade. This analysis suggests that IPAB will have to carry a lot more weight than expected. In 2019 alone, Medicare spending will likely be about $75 billion higher than officially estimated – or 7.5 times greater than what IPAB is called upon to save in the official estimate. For the entire decade, Medicare spending will be more than $400 billion greater than Obamacare estimates.

5. ‘The Half-Trillion Plan, Charles Krauthammer, Washington Post

With the debt ceiling THE issue in national politics right now and several plans floating around, Charles Krauthammer has an interesting (and in my view, most persuasive) take on the options facing Congress and the President. He calls it the Half Trillion Plan:

The debt ceiling looms. Confusion reigns. Schemes abound. We are deep in a hole with only three ways out: the McConnell Plan, the G6 Plan and the Half-Trillion Plan.

— The McConnell essentially punts the issue till after Election Day 2012. A good last resort if nothing else works.

— The G6, proposed by the bipartisan Gang of Six senators, reduces 10-year debt by roughly $4 trillion. It has some advantages, even larger flaws.

— The Half-Trillion raises the debt ceiling by that amount in return for an equal amount of spending cuts. At the current obscene rate of deficit spending — about $100 billion a month — it yields about five months’ respite before the debt ceiling is reached again.

If you have other articles you want to recommend or have an opinion on our choices, let your voice be heard in the Comments.

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I would like to thank David Harsanyi of the Denver Post and The Detroit News for helping me compile this small list featuring just some of the bureaucratic web that is our federal government:

  • 56 separate programs to help people better understand their finances
  • 18 federal food and nutrition assistance programs, costing taxpayers $62.5 billion in 2008
  • 10 agencies or departments administering 82 programs dealing with teacher quality
  • 80 different economic development programs
  • 15 different agencies overseeing food safety
  • 18 programs responsible for delivering food assistance to the poor
  • 24 federal agencies operating data centers
  • 20 programs dealing with homelessness
  • 44 programs among Education, Labor and Health and Human Services Departments delivering employment and job training programs
  • 5 agencies within the Transportation Department administering more than 100 involved in surface transportation, highway, traffic safety, and railroads

I’m sure many of these programs serve a valuable purpose, but the redundancy of similar programs showcases a federal government that has grown to such a size that it is just feeding off it self. Bureaucracies by their nature grow they don’t wither and the plethora of these programs and departments listed above is proof. Eighty-two programs for promoting teacher quality! We are just talking federal level here, folks. Under President Obama, the budget of the Department of Education has more than doubled, with even this year, where ‘austerity’ is in vogue, seeing it grow another 4.2%. This is not money for books or better teachers, this is a raise for the bureaucracy known as the Department of Education.

In this chart below made by the Cato Institute, one can easily see the growth of all aspects of government from 2007-2012:

I would like to highlight the tremendous growth of ‘Other Mandatory’, which according to CATO features federal employee benefits, food stamps, etc and ‘Domestic Discretionary’, which of course features funding for bureaucracies like the Department of Education, Transportation, etc. President Obama has said that he wants to freeze spending on these sectors. Well, that’s nice, but how about we bring them back down to a level pre-Stimulus spending binge instead. It’s like our government has had 10 shots of patron and said ‘that’s enough, I’m done’. Unfortunately, that leaves us all in a sick and woozy position.

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